Prevent Your Facebook and Instagram Accounts from Being Hacked: Essential Tips

digital marekting tech May 17, 2024
Padlock on a computer keyboard

In today’s digital age, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have become integral parts of our lives. They allow us to connect with friends, share experiences, and promote businesses. However, the increased use of these platforms also brings about a higher risk of hacking.

To protect your accounts and personal information, it’s essential to implement robust security measures. Especially if you have spent years building up thousands of followers and an engaged community that supports your business.

Here are some effective ways to prevent your Facebook and Instagram accounts from being hacked.


1. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Two-factor authentication is a security feature that helps protect your Facebook and Instagram accounts and your password, keeping them safe. After you set up two-factor authentication, you’ll receive a notification or be asked to enter a special login code, when someone tries logging into your account from a device or browser not recognised by Facebook and Instagram.

This ensures that your accounts cannot be accessed by hackers, even if your passwords have been exposed to those with ill intent. Two-factor authentication is the key to keeping your account secure and can also prevent you loosing access to your accounts if you forget your password.


What happens when I set up two-factor authentication?

After you have set up two-factor authentication, if someone tries to login to your Facebook or Instagram account from an unrecognisable device or browser, you will be promoted for a code. This will be accessed by one of the following ways depending on how you set up two-factor authentication:

  • Text message (SMS) to your mobile phone
  • An authentication app such as Google authenticator
  • Physical security key

 You'll need to have at least one of these set up in order to use two-factor authentication.


Why is Two-Factor Authentication Necessary for Facebook and Instagram?

  • Enhanced Security: 2FA significantly increases your account security. Even if someone gets hold of your password, they won't be able to access your account without the second factor.

  • Protection Against Hacking: Hackers often use phishing attacks or malware to steal passwords. 2FA provides an additional barrier, making it much harder for hackers to gain access to your accounts.

  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that your accounts are protected by 2FA gives you peace of mind. It helps ensure that your personal information, photos, and private messages remain safe.


How To Set Up Two-Factor Authentication On Facebook

1. From your Facebook home page on desktop, click on the drop-down arrow, top right of the screen. Click on Settings & privacy > Privacy Centre.

2. Click on Privacy Centre > How To Keep Your Account Secure and follow on-screen instructions.

On mobile tap your profile picture, bottom right > gear icon top right > Privacy Checkup.


How To Set Up Two-Factor Authentication On Instagram (mobile app)

  1. From the home screen tab, tap on your profile icon in the bottom right
  2. Tap on the burger bar menu in the top right

  3. Tap Accounts Centre > Password and security > Two-factor authentication and follow on-screen prompts.

Once finished you will get an on-screen prompt saying that two-factor authentication is on. You need to do two-factor authentication for each individual Instagram account you manage.

Watch my Instagram Reel on how to set up Two-Factor Authentication for Instagram ⬇️



2. Save Recovery Codes / Backup Codes

As part of the two-factor authentication process, you’ll be given the option to download recovery codes. This is especially useful if you lose your phone or can’t receive a verification code via text message or an authentication app.

Take a screenshot of them and save them somewhere safe so they can be easily accessed if you need them.

3. Use Strong, Unique Passwords

Avoid using common passwords or the same password across multiple sites. Create strong passwords that combine upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters.

Tips for Creating Strong Passwords:

  • Use at least 12 characters.
  • Avoid easily guessable information such as birthdays or common words.
  • Consider using a password manager to generate and store complex passwords securely, like LastPass.

4. Be Cautious with Links and Messages

Phishing attacks are common methods hackers use to gain access to your accounts. Be wary of suspicious links or messages, even if they appear to come from friends or trusted sources.

How to Identify Phishing Attempts:

  • Look for unusual language or requests.
  • Check the sender’s email address or profile for authenticity. 
  • Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown sources.

5. Regularly Update Your Software

Ensure your devices and apps are up-to-date with the latest security patches. Developers frequently release updates to fix vulnerabilities that hackers might exploit.

Steps to Update Software:

  • Enable automatic updates on your devices.
  • Manually check for updates in the settings of your social media apps or devices.


6. Monitor Account Activity

Regularly review your account activity to identify any unauthorized access. Both Facebook and Instagram provide tools to help you monitor your login history.

As part of the two-factor authentication set-up process, you can set up trusted devices and alerts to notify you if someone logs in to your account from a place Meta does not recognise. They'll tell you which device was used and where it's located, either by Facebook notifications or email.

7. Limit Third-Party App Access

Third-party apps that have access to your Facebook and Instagram accounts can be a security risk. Regularly review and limit these permissions.

How to Manage Third-Party Access:

  • Facebook: Go to Settings & Privacy > Your Activity > Apps and Websites and review the active apps.
  • Instagram: Go to Settings > Your app and media > Security > Website Permissions > Apps and Websites and review the active apps.

8. Educate Yourself on Security Best Practices

Staying informed about the latest security threats and best practices is crucial in keeping your accounts safe. Follow trusted sources for updates on cyber security.

Recommended Resources:

  • Official Facebook and Instagram blogs.
  • Cybersecurity news sites like Krebs on Security and The Hacker News.
  • Online courses and webinars on social media security.

Security Of Your Social Media Accounts Is An Ongoing Process

By implementing these security measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of your Facebook and Instagram accounts being hacked. Remember, maintaining the security of your social media accounts is an ongoing process that requires vigilance and proactive measures. Stay safe online and enjoy the benefits of social media without compromising your personal information or your business.


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